Artichoke Dishes--Dozen Best

Tom Fitzmorris June 10, 2011 18:28

Creme De La Creme

In New Orleans Restaurants
Dozen Best Artichoke Dishes

Artichokes have been called by more than a few people the most delicious vegetable on earth. They certainly have given rise to many wonderful dishes in New Orleans restaurants. Here's a list of what I think are the best ones. This is the best time of year to eat artichokes, by the way.

1. Bosco's. Mandeville: 2040 La Hwy 59. 985-624-5066. Whole artichoke bottom stuffed with a dressing of crabmeat, garlic, bread, and Parmesan cheese, brought out as a ball of goodness sizzling in butter.

2. Impastato's. Metairie: 3400 16th St. 504-455-1545. Fish or veal Marianna, with a sauce of mushrooms, artichokes, and a lemon butter with sherry.

Artichokes3. Vincent's. Metairie: 4411 Chastant St. 504-885-2984. And Riverbend: 7839 St Charles Ave. 504-866-9313. Artichoke Vincent: artichoke bottom topped with crabmeat, shrimp, or crawfish, sizzled with garlic butter.

4. Pelican Club. French Quarter: 615 Bienville. 504-523-1504. Scallop-stuffed artichoke, an artichoke heart splayed out and topped with seared sea scallops, napped with garlic beurre blanc.

5. Tommy's Cuisine. Warehouse District: 746 Tchoupitoulas. 504-581-1103. Crabmeat Sardou is just like eggs Sardou, but with jumbo lump crabmeat in top of the artichoke bottom and creamed spinach and with hollandaise over everything. This is a Galatoire's dish, really, but their old chef is here now.

6. Irene's Cuisine. French Quarter: 539 St Philip. 504-529-8811. Artichoke hearts lend themselves to marinating and serving at cool room temperature as an appetizer. Here it is, abetted by curls of Parma prosciutto. Good start!

7. Mandina's. Mid-City: 3800 Canal. 504-482-9179. Oyster-artichoke soup was created by LeRuth's in the 1960s, and it's now universal. There is none better than the one at Mandina's.

8. Crazy Johnnie's. Metairie: 3520 18th St. 504-887-6641. It doesn't seem logical that a bargain steak house would have the city's best stuffed artichoke, but it does. A New Orleans Italian classic.

9. Fausto's. Metairie: 530 Veterans Blvd. 504-833-7121. Stuffed artichoke hearts are such an obvious New Orleans-Italian dish that I wonder why hardly anyone other than Fausto's makes it. The stuffing is the usual mix of bread crumbs and garlic and olive oil. They broil them and send them out as an appetizer. You want more.

10. Houston's. Uptown: 1755 St Charles Ave. 504-524-1578. And Metairie: 4241 Veterans Blvd. 504-889-2301. Grilled baby artichokes. Eat them whole.

11. Flaming Torch. Uptown: 737 Octavia. 504-895-0900. Artichoc du Vieux Moulin is the most expensive appetizer here, but one taste and you're good with the price. It's an artichoke bottom filled with crabmeat and shrimp with a French-style remoulade. It's splittable.

12. Maple Street Cafe. Riverbend: 7623 Maple. 504-314-9003. Chicken Robah is a slightly overcomplicated dish, but the ingredients it brings together are all so complimentary that it works. The chicken breast is stuffed with artichoke, prosciutto, mushrooms, and the very mild, eminently meltable Fontina cheese. The sauce is a marsala wine reduction.


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